Elegant, balanced, precise steering, and ridiculously fast in a straight line for a four-wheel-drive, near-2,000kg, five-seater, the Panamera GTS does exactly what Porsche promises. Engineers in Weissach have implemented a range of subtle engineering revisions to this latest model, which means it is even more refined and even more capable. What makes this car truly special though, is that – like the top-end Turbo and the Turbo S derivatives – the Panamera GTS is powered by a V8. What’s more, it’s likely to be one of the last newly developed V8s ever to be made. That meant the pressure was on during the grand tourer’s development.
Under the hood is a highly sophisticated powertrain package with state-of-the-art combustion tech and cooling. Coupled to an 8-speed PDK, which has been tweaked to be more sporty for the GTS, the twin-turbo 4-liter V8 produces 480ps and 620Nm of torque at 1,800-4,500rpm. Two twin-scroll turbines are located between the cylinder banks so the exhaust fumes are just a short distance from the turbochargers, resulting in better responsiveness and very little lag. A separate exhaust supply to the turbine runners avoids the load change disadvantages specific to a V8 design and ensures high torque even at low engine speeds. For the GTS variants of the Panamera, the engine management system was modified to ensure faster building of motor torque.
Porsche reckons a fuel efficiency of 10.9-10.7 l/100km on a combined cycle; but we achieved on average 7.4 l/100km driving in Normal mode. This figure may be a little disappointing, but does it really matter when you consider what the five-door GT was built for? This car was not engineered to be frugal. It’s designed to transport its passengers in comfort and class, while also being powerful and deceptively dynamic. In this respect, the German OEM should be commended because the Panamera experience goes beyond that.
From a comfort perspective, Porsche’s engineers have created wonderfully luxurious surroundings in which to travel; the NVH refinement in the cabin is impressive. In terms of driveability, both primary and secondary ride quality are exceptional; the GTS glides down country lanes and over urban roads. Although it can feel a little heavy at times, this can be forgiven as it feels sturdy, it handles well, and the steering feedback instils confidence. Acceleration is smooth as the engine climbs through the gears. Pop it into Sport mode, open the throttle, and the driving experience is heightened by that potentially endangered growl that you only get from a V8.
All things considered, I’d be more than happy to pay the £107,180 (US$151,304) that it’d take to buy this Panamera GTS. For me, it’s sleek, sexy and has the powertrain tech to offer ensure endless driving enjoyment.